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Footage of 5 Officers Pinning Innocent Black Transit Passenger to the Ground Sparks Investigation in Toronto

Toronto Transit Inspectors

A female witness said police held the teen down for nearly 20 minutes before taking him to a police car. (Facebook video screenshot)

The Toronto Transit Commission is investigating a video of several fare inspection officers using excessive force against a Black teenager at the subway surfaced online.

The violent altercation triggered a large police presence on the platform, bystanders said.

The Toronto Star reported that the unnamed teen was trying to exit a streetcar Sunday when he was snatched up by a subway fare inspector. Bethany McBride, a woman who witnessed the incident, told the newspaper the boy reportedly shoved the officer who’d grabbed him.

“I didn’t hear anyone ask him for proof of payment before grabbing him,” McBride said.

Things escalated from there, as officers pulled the teen from the streetcar and pinned him to the ground before placing him in handcuffs. McBride insisted that the boy, who appeared to be about 15 years old, never resisted. In the video, three more officers are seen coming in to hold the young man down.

“I didn’t do anything,” the distressed teen is heard saying in the video. “You’re hurting me! You’re hurting me.”

McBride said the teen was clearly frightened and “looked banged up” from his struggle with police. She said he was held down for nearly 20 minutes before being taken to a squad car.

After determining the teen hadn’t committed any criminal offense, officers immediately let him go, City News Toronto reported. 

TTC spokesman Stuart Green addressed the incident on Tuesday, saying the agency is investigating and it that would take “appropriate action.” He said officials plan to review surveillance footage of the incident as well as question the fare inspectors.

“The TTC is concerned about the events leading up to this altercation and is taking the incident seriously,” Green said. “We are currently conducting an internal investigation, including reviewing video to determine exactly what happened and why, and we will take appropriate action where necessary.”

The young man walked away with no charges.

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